THE FACE BEHIND THE RADIO VOICE
*Caption: Msizi in studio at East Coast Radio
Written by: Nicole Bowran
Hillcrest High School, old boy, Msizi James is currently making a name for himself in the Durban area as East Coast Radio’s weekend morning radio presenter.
The 23-year-old was born and raised in a township just outside of Hillcrest. Unlike most children, James grew up differently, and experienced growing up in two different homes.
“I was brought up in the best of both worlds. I was raised by two different mothers, a white lady from America and also I was raised by my actual family so I had a very interesting childhood in the sense that I was brought up very Zulu and I was also brought up very western,” said James.
He was raised by his biological mother, as well as an America teacher, Pat Blair, who came to Durban to teach English in the townships.
Throughout his childhood and to this day James is still greatly influenced by his birth mother and how she overcame obstacles of her own. She struggled to raise a family in a one room home but eventually worked hard enough to build her family a 4 bedroom home.
“My mom is a very strong person; she is a perfect example of somebody who went from nothing like from rags to just working your way to riches,” he added.
From a young age, James has always had an interest in the entertainment industry, mainly in singing and entertaining people. When he left school, radio was not in his top five list of things to do until the spontaneous opportunity at East Coast Radio came along.
“East Coast Radio had a talent show which I knew nothing about and a friend of mine actually told me the day after it took place. I sent them an email and at 11 o’clock that night I received an email back from the programmes manager and that was that,” said James.
He has also faced some challenges, such as being turned down for a role and not being able to achieve certain goals, which have caused setbacks in his career.
“I have had some obstacles no doubt. Not being able to achieve certain things or buy certain things to lead me to my goals. I’ve been said no to numerous times especially in the entertainment industry,” added James.
However, he continued to remain positive. After he was knocked out of the semi-final round of South African Idols in 2013, he took it as a learning curb and a step towards a career in the entertainment industry.
“At the same time when one door is closing, like South African Idols and the whole singing thing, another one opens, when it came in the form of East Coast Radio and being a presenter,” he said.
According to him, his life has changed a lot since becoming a presenter, and meeting new people is the highlight of his career.
“I went from pretty much surfing and body boarding every day, for 2 years, to now being invited to amazing events and being asked to attend an event at my own high school as a speaker,” he said.
“The best part about being a presenter is just meeting new people and all the opportunities that come with it. Meeting people you have always regarded as celebrities or your icons, they become friends,” he added.
For the future James, has his heart set on being a Politian and being involved in the South African government.
“I am going to be in the radio industry and TV industry for the next 5 years and after that I really want to go into politics. I want to go into parliament and help this country go forward,” said James.
James added that he has got a huge passion for the people of this country as a whole and hopes to play a major role in it’s prosperity.
Knowing what it’s like to have goals and work hard for them, James advised young people is to make sure they are happy with their life choices.
“I think before trying to find out what you want to do as a living, you need to find out who you are, you need to do some soul searching and find out what makes you happy,” concluded James.